The Latest in Weight Loss Research: Cryotherapy

cold water fat weight loss The Latest in Weight Loss Research: Cryotherapy

Gus couldn't believe his luck: A quick dip into the frigid water, and he lost 90 lbs and found the girl of his dreams

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute  may have discovered the holy grail of fat loss.

The only problem?

In order for their plan to work, dieters may be required to subject their chubby love handles and thunder thighs to extremely low temperatures.

The Research


In their study, the researchers found that “mice exposed to low temperatures develop more blood vessels in their adipose tissue and metabolize body fat more quickly.”

Prior studies told the researchers that the growth of fat cells depends on oxygen and blood-borne nutrients. So, because of that discovery, they theorized that body fat loss can be manipulated by altering the development of blood vessels in the fat itself.

To test this theory, they exposed a group of “pleasantly plump” mice to a low temperature environment.

  • This resulted in the mice developing new blood vessels in their fat tissue.
  • This resulted in the transformation of Mickey’s normal “white” fat into the more metabolically active “brown” fat.
  • And since brown fat breaks down more quickly than white fat, the fat mice became skinny mice.

What does this mean for us?


 The Latest in Weight Loss Research: CryotherapyThe big brains at Karolinska believe that by increasing the blood vessel development in your fat tissue, you should be able to melt off your body-fat faster than a pound of bacon hitting a hot griddle.

The bad news?

This is very early in the research and a treatment is years away at best….if ever.

So, what now?

Maybe we should try taking a cue from Big Gus and join the local Polar Bear club….just kidding, that cold water could give you a heart attack.



Related Posts



Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. DhariniB

    March 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Do not waste your money! Humans do not have much brown fat. There is NO quick fix for weight loss at this time.

  2. Sarah

    April 27, 2009 at 2:39 am

    “And since brown fat breaks down more quickly than white fat, the fat mice became skinny mice.”

    Who wrote this? Did they even research it? Cryotherapy doesn’t turn white fat into brown fat which breaks down faster. Cryotherapy activates brown fat which metabolises the white fat. In fact, brown fat in adults is actually physically closer to muscle than fat and the last thing you would want to do is burn off the brown fat. It consumes large amounts of white fat to restore body temperature.

    It does mean that by activating the brown fat you can lose up to 9 pounds of fat per year with out changing your diet at all. It also means that it could drastically accelerate your weight loss efforts.

  3. Kate

    February 27, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I think this is a really good idea, I read recently about hot and cold extremes mixed together were beneficial for you as it encourages people’s bodies to react. I am sure they will test it further and see whether they establish confirmed results

  4. John Mowatt

    February 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I had a tough time losing weight.Tried many diets without success.Then I discovered walkingI knew I needed exercise but jogging was not for me. I was advised to walk.That was a turning point.I extended the distance daily and walked briskly.Not only did I lose weight but the aerobic exercise made a huge difference to my heart and lungs.I became a fit lean person rather than an unhealthy couch potato. I have no problem keeping my weight under control now.I eat a healthy diet.Mainly veggies,salads,fruit and nuts with justn a bit of lean meat or fish and walk miles daily.It works for me.Freezing cold to build blood vessels may well work but you had better get lots of good exercise along with it.

  5. asithi

    January 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    In Japan, it is traditional to bath in icy cold water as part of their New Year celebration. That was on the news a few nights ago. Maybe that is the secret to their slim physique. :D

  6. DR

    February 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    It doesn’t seem practical does it?

    Congrats on your transformation. Now, if only more people would heed your advice – “Mainly veggies,salads,fruit and nuts with justn a bit of lean meat or fish and walk miles daily.”